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Is some planer snipe to be expected?

2763 Views 79 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  alphonse53
Hi - I bought a Dewalt 735 in January and just getting around to setting it up. I've only run a couple of boards through but there is noticeable snipe at the beginning and end of the boards. I have never owned a planer before and am curious if some snipe is to be expected . I guess I am wondering if something might be wrong / need adjustment on this planer. Appreciate any inputs. - Thanks.
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IMO snipe is inherent in some machines because of design and cannot be totally eliminated. That said, there are remedies. I believe snipe is the planer removing more material at the ends due to inadequate roller pressure, misalignment, inadequate feed table support, or a combination. Ricks explanation is interesting I’ll have to think about it, but it doesn’t explane how the remedies can help.

Tip - A little upward pressure as the board is fed in/pulled out will usually help. Always plane with a jointed face down. I believe the extended table John refers to can’t be a bad idea.
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I might see it on a portable machine, but how the head flexes upward on a stationary cast iron machine? I dont think so …… 🤔

And why would extended tables and lifting the board help?
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Observation not argument : When I lowered the bed rollers below the table snipe disappeared completely and I’ve never had any since. I learned this from Charles Neil.

There are bed locking screws which I’ve never used. Grizzly 1033

Don’t know what to tell ya. You’ll never convince me the head is flexing upward in a cast iron machine.

Backlash would explain a board getting thicker as it runs, but not snipe - the last 3” of a board - that’s a board hanging off the outfeed and roller springs not strong enough to hold it down. As soon as it clears the infeed roller - bam! Snipe.

The same thing happened with my drum sander. I found the rollers in the box and tada no more snipe!
If snipe was due to a sagging board hanging off the planer, then butting an extra board to the end of your workpiece would not eliminate the snipe, as so many people have reported.
You tripped me and now all my apple fell out of my cart. I hope you’re happy. 😆😆
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I guess I’m fooling my planer b/c it has zero snipe. 😁
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@Rick Christopherson,

OK I’ve picked up my apples and have the unbruised ones back in the cart 😁

You never answered why picking up in the board can eliminate snipe.

Or how a head mounted to a cast iron body can flex. Are you referring to portable machines?

If anything, wouldn‘t the bed be pushed downward? I’ve seen the height wheel on my planer turn a little while feeding. Only hard wood. I attribute this to dull blades pushing the board downward.
[EDIT] I read a few articles on the subject, and the cutter head lifting is only mentioned on small planers. They contend a locking head will prevent the problem. Every other article talks about feed roller pressure and how close to cutterhead. Explains why lifting a board works, but doesn't explain how feeding another board right behind works - that seems supported by the lifting cutterhead idea.[/edit]

Its a really interesting discussion but the physics still escape me - relative to a cast iron planer. I'll take what you guys say as a fact, even though I still can't understand how a roller head mounted in a cast iron head is going to flex upward. I'm trying to correlate to using a hand plane but can't.

As I mentioned, I get zero snipe on my planer. I attribute this to the fact it has a pressure bar which I believe most planers do not have, correct me if I'm wrong.

It also has bed locking knobs, which I never use, and I'm not aware of many planers that have them. I have seen my height adjustment wheel rotate as wood goes through on a heavy pass. It has never done this before the last year. For me, I take that (plus noise) as an indication the blades are dull, but also seems to support what Rick is saying.The blades are WAY over due.

So question: does blade sharpness come into play? Seems like there would be less down force if the knives are sharp.

What I do know is a long board hanging off the outfeed will have snipe regardless, and when planing thin stock a slight uplift on both infeed and outfeed eliminates issues. I had some snipe, but lowering the bed rollers below the bed totally eliminated it. Me, my planer, and 20 years experience using it.

So I think there are a few causes of snipe, maybe all of us are right in one way or another. In the end, all that matters is good results, not understanding why you're getting them? o_O

Newer version of my machine:

Gas Motor vehicle Engineering Machine Machine tool
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